Vietnam has made major progress in health outcomes over the past 20 years. The Millennium Development Goals were achieved, many well in advance of the 2015 deadline; maternal, infant and child mortality has fallen along with child stunting prevalence. Skilled birth attendance has risen to 94 percent, nearly three-quarters of pregnant women receive four or more antenatal care visits and full immunization rates were at 98 percent in 2016. However, disadvantaged groups, especially ethnic minorities and those living in remote, mountainous areas continue to have limited access to health services and have worse health outcomes, and across the country, non-communicable diseases are on the rise.
Vietnam’s investment case is described in the country’s health plans which highlight the extra investments needed to strengthen the health system to deliver priority intervention packages for mothers, newborns, children and adolescents.
Health priorities for Vietnam include:
- Strengthening the grassroots-level health care system (primary health care).
- Strengthening the delivery of quality services to improve maternal and child health outcomes, including a new basic essential service package for health insurance reimbursement at the community level.
- Preventing and managing malnutrition.
- Preventing and managing noncommunicable diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic obstetric pulmonary disease, asthma, and other noncommunicable diseases.
- Promoting healthy aging.
Improving the efficiency and sustainability of health financing and service delivery arrangements, including (among others):
- Reducing the over-reliance on hospital-centered delivery
- Supporting health insurance reform
- Enhancing financial protection from out-of-pocket health spending
- Creating an enabling environment for private-sector participation
- Ensuring equity of access to health services for ethnic minority populations.
How the GFF partnership works in Vietnam
The GFF is playing a pivotal role in Vietnam’s transition by buying down the interest rate of the WB health project loan to more concessional terms with the GFF Trust Fund’s investment.
The GFF resources also support work to advance health financing reforms, helping to align support of development partners who support Social Health Insurance and other health financing reforms and providing technical assistance to the revision of the Social Health Insurance Law and associated policies.
In addition, the GFF is strengthening CRVS, particularly death registration and cause of death reporting. Through Trust Fund support, technical assistance to the Ministry of Health is enabling the implementation of new standards for COD diagnosis and reporting at health facility and commune level. Finally, GFF is supporting the strengthening of PPPs in Vietnam through capacity building activities and identification of potential health sector PPPs that can be developed into fully-fledged PPP outline business cases.
Financing Vietnam’s Priority Investments
The GFF is helping to mobilize more domestic resources for RMNCAH and primary care service delivery through the buy-down of the Investing and Innovating for Grassroots Service Delivery Reform project, increasing health system efficiency by improving the quality of the grassroots (commune) infrastructure to meet government benchmarks; equipping, training and enabling commune health stations to take on a new role in screening and managing NCDs while ensuring continued improvements in communicable diseases and RMNCAH management; and improving the quality with which maternal and child health services are delivered.